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Three top banks report higher nets despite drop in last quarter

Three major banks yesterday reported higher net profits for 2013 compared with 2012, but the last quarter showed a significant drop from the previous quarters, mainly due to extra loan-loss provision. Siam Commercial Bank announced a net profit of Bt50.2 billion for 2013, a 28-per-cent increase from 2012. The substantial increase was attributed to higher net interest income and solid growth in non-interest income, including from fees and insurance premiums.

These gains were partly offset by substantially higher prudent provisions in anticipation of the potential adverse turn in the economic cycle, although loan quality remained relatively stable.

SCB reported fourth-quarter profits of Bt11.8 billion, down 69.33 per cent from the third quarter but a 26.3-per-cent increase compared with the same quarter of 2012.

The bank set additional loan-impairment provisions of Bt13.6 billion in 2013, increased from Bt9.4 billion in 2012, or 45.2 per cent. The coverage level for non-performing loans (NPLs) increased from 144.8 per cent at the end of 2012 to 150.8 per cent at the end of December 2013.

SCB's stock price closed at Bt147.50 yesterday, up 2.43 per cent from Wednesday.

Kasikornbank reported 2013 net profit of Bt41.32 billion against Bt35.26 billion a year earlier. However, its fourth-quarter earnings dropped 11.07 per cent from the third quarter to Bt9.52 billion as the bank set aside higher allowances for impairment loss on loans, partially serving as a counter-cyclical provision to prepare for a future economic downturn.

As a result, KBank's coverage ratio as of December 31 had increased to 134.52 per cent from 131.83 per cent a year earlier. KBank's stock price closed at Bt166, up 3.43 per cent from Wednesday.

TMB Bank's consolidated net profit for 2013 surged by 354.76 per cent to Bt5.73 billion, while the NPL ratio declined steadily to 3.87 per cent from 4.10 per cent.In the fourth quarter, TMB's profit dropped 3.8 per cent from the third quarter to Bt1.8 billion.

To prepare for economic fluctuations, TMB set aside a special provision, resulting in total provisions for the year of Bt7.61 billion, driving up its coverage ratio to 140 per cent from 113 per cent.

In the second quarter of 2013, TMB set aside Bt4.14 billion as a special provision for a counter-cyclical cushion. And a general provision of Bt800 million was added in response to the slowing economy in the fourth quarter.

TMB's stock price yesterday closed at Bt2.12, up 4.95 per cent from Wednesday.


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